This is an opportunity to personally explore accounting professionalism, the public interest and the role of the Accountant in society. In this context I want you to think broadly about Accountants. They may be Accountants in CPA firms, Accountants in business, Accountants in non-profit entities or Accountants in government. This assignment will ask you to explore what it means to be a professional Accountant in the 21st century. In addressing this question, please consider:
- What does it mean to be a professional Accountant? What are the characteristics of a professional Accountant? What distinguishes a professional Accountant from
someone who simply works in accounting (e.g. bookkeepers, data entry, accounts payable clerks, etc.)?
- What role does a professional Accountant play in our economy, society, democracy, etc.? What stakeholders should the professional accountant consider? When stakeholders have conflicting interests,
how should the public accountant prioritize?
- Does a professional Accountant have responsibilities not shared by other professions? If so, briefly discuss and indicate their relevance.
Please do not address these questions theoretically, but with practical examples. Specifically, illustrate and support your thoughts with examples out of the cases, readings, class discussions, research and your experiences. Remember, your response should be broad enough to consider the roles of Accountants in public accounting firms, in business and industry, in non-profits and in government. The Reckoning is intended to serve as a foundation for preparing your essay. While reading the book please consider and reflect on questions such as: – What role does society play (i.e. are people educated in accounting and what role does that play in the
success or failure of the company or state)? – Is what is taking place similar or different from modern day USA? Are we better or worse off than the era
you are reading about in The Reckoning? – How has the accounting professional evolved over the centuries?
I will post other articles to D2L in the Readings tab to help you explore the topic, but please don’t constrain yourself to just this material. The Professionalism Essay is to be completed individually. Your discussion should be approximately 1,500 words, plus references (you may use any of the referencing formats – MLA, APA, etc.).
Grading will consider the level of research conducted (articles and/or interviews), how you synthesized & internalized the key themes to shape your view of the subject and communication. All essays should have references with at least 5 articles, papers, interviews in addition to The Reckoning. The essay should NOT be a book report. The reading you do is meant to provide perspective and get you thinking. The essay should focus on how you have internalized the subject.
The due date for the Essay is indicated in syllabus. I encourage you over the next few weeks to start writing notes about what you believe it means to be member of the accounting profession in the 21st century. As the term progresses, develop the themes that you want to explore and start to overlay our discussions from various cases in this context. Keep developing your ideas during the term – don’t leave this until the end!
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